Rib Lake (OnFocus) – A short week of school saw the Abbotsford Falcons and Rib Lake/Prentice Hawks square off in nonconference action, and with a customary strong ground game, Abbotsford moved to 4-0 on the season with a 47-18 win.
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The Falcons took a 13-0 first half lead on touchdowns from JV Castillo and Jake Hirsch. RL/P came right back and moved to a score at 13-6 before Evan Schunk’s 3 yard touchdown with 5 minutes left in the first half.
As it has all season, the Falcons’ defense then came with a big play as Brandon Diedrich’s interception gave Abbotsford the ball near midfield with just over a minute left before halftime.
The Falcons have had a number of big plays this season, but it’s the 1-2 punch of back to back big plays that have been a trademark of Abbotsford Football in 2021.
“We strive for the big plays and try to get the mindset in practice for running backs. We practice turnover drills daily for defensive things but we get really excited when these practice items pay off,” said Abbotsford Falcons Head Football Coach Jake Knapmiller.
With the ball near midfield, Abby needed one play to reach paydirt, as Ty Falteisek sprinted down the home sidelines untouched for a score that gave the Falcons a 25-6 halftime lead.
The second half began with the Hawks marching down into scoring position, a first and goal at the 8 yard line. Three plays later, and a 4th and goal at the 1 had RL/P knocking at the door.
The Falcons’ defense wasn’t letting the Hawks in, however, and the big stop had Abby in high spirits.
Time for another 1-2 punch of big plays. On second and 11 from their 3, sophomore running back Evan Reis took off on a 72 yard to the Hawks’ 25 yard line, leading to a Ty Falteisek 18 yard touchdown with 5:06 left in the third quarter.
Rib Lake/Prentice, however, took advantage of some missed tackles by the Falcons on their next drive, and moved to within three scores near the end of the quarter.
The Hawks then tested fate by kicking off to Falteisek, and the move backfired. The senior running back, who entered the game 15th in the state with 566 yards, produced another big play, pulling away from a lone tackler and scoring on a 75 yard kickoff return.
Falteisek led all rushers with 130 yards on 9 carries and 3 rushing touchdowns to go along with his kickoff return TD.
Following a Hawks’ 4th quarter touchdown, it was the offensive line’s turn to produce one final chapter in the win. The line’s dominance showed as Abby needed just three plays to score following an onsides kickoff attempt. Falteisek’s 20 yard run with 8:01 ended the scoring, and a 47-18 win was in the books.
Complete game stats: hudl-boxscore_138976_17209104_9_10_2021_1_50_39_PM-205f5a08cbd047469431b7287fefb88d
The Thursday night game was a replacement on the schedule for a cancelled game against a Milwaukee Lutheran team.
“The schedule was unique and I don’t think it did much about our lethargic performances in certain parts of the game. Our focus may not of been as sharp but I think our mindset was different going into a non-conference game vs an opponent who hasn’t won yet after playing well for the most part against Marathon,” Knapmiller added. “Our defense hasn’t played a solid full game in terms of execution yet and that is frustrating.”
“It’s great to be 4-0, but means very little unless we can build on each week and peak at the end of the season, when our schedule also gets really tough!” Knapmiller summarized.
- Postgame, Abbotsford was focused on cleaning up some mistakes and fine-tuning their attack for next week’s Colby at Abbotsford showdown
- The win keeps the Falcons flying high near the top of our OnFocus Football Rankings. After week 3, Abby was #5. Will they move up? Check back this week to find out.
- The Colby at Abbotsford matchup will feature a halftime contest sponsored by Forward Financial.
- Fans will have opportunities for a 50-50 raffle and for a new opportunity: tennis ball toss.
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